In the wake of the gang rape case in Delhi and the protests at Vijay Chowk, India Against Corruption (IAC) and Volunteers For A Better India (VFABI), an initiative of the Art of Living, have launched awareness programmes for the youth.
As part of the initiative, volunteers of both organisations interact with youngsters at popular hangouts like malls and multiplexes to sensitise them about issues such as sexual harassment.
The youth are asked to shed their indifferent attitude and speak out for themselves. They are encouraged to fearlessly approach the police in case of any unpleasant incident, including sexual harassment.
Yesterday morning, 50 activists gathered at Good Luck Hotel junction on FC Road. The activists appealed to young males and females to approach the police if they came across any incident of sexual harassment, be it obscene remarks or gestures aimed at a woman or girl.
To hit home their message, IAC and VFABI volunteers resorted to slogans like ‘To help the police is to help ourselves’.
The event showed a different side of the IAC, which in the past was actively engaged in conducting protests, and yesterday it was seen holding a dialogue with youngsters.
Datta Awari, personal assistant of social activist Anna Hazare, was also present for the awareness campaign. The state-level office of the IAC will be inaugurated in Ralegansiddhi, Hazare’s village, next month.
Awari said there would be more awareness drives in future and not just protests. “Anna’s stand has certainly changed; IAC will concentrate more on awareness campaigns rather than holding just protests,” he said. “The change was done after Annaji held a series of discussions with social leaders and thinkers.”
Deepak Bharadia, coordinator, IAC, Pune, said, “It is wrong to always point fingers at the government. We often commit a mistake in not approaching the police in case of an injustice that is done to us. We have, therefore, decided to launch the awareness drive in Pune against the background of the Delhi rape case.
We are going to interact with youngsters and we will appeal to them to speak up and approach the police if they face any sexual harassment from anyone.”